The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping consumer behavior and how the retail industry, which is notoriously slow to adopt new ideas, does business. Teams of buyers and executives traveling the globe to visit far flung accounts is now a relic of the pre-digital way to work. But this transformation is in its infancy with a long way to go.
For example, product selection is in dire need of an update. Even before the pandemic struck, fashion shows, showroom visits, trade shows, and line reviews were ripe for disruption. Although buyers, executives, and wholesalers had been muttering for a decade that, “There must be a better way to do business,” old habits die hard.
That’s what we discovered when the majority of the world’s fashion designers ignored a golden opportunity to reinvent the traditional fashion show. During the global shutdown, most of the fashion shows were simply traditional runway shows broadcast via Zoom without live guests. Nevertheless, digital fashion shows do appear to have some stickiness, with many designers moving forward with hybrid concepts for the upcoming Fall 2022 reveals.